Surrogacy is an arrangement between two people who wish to parent a child and a woman who agrees to carry and give birth to that child.
In English law the woman who carries and gives birth to the child is the legal mother; regardless of where the child was conceived or born. It is only on the making of a “Parental Order” that the intended parents obtain legal parental rights which extinguish those of the surrogate mother.
These arrangements can be very complex and specialist legal advice, preferably prior to making any agreements, is required to avoid falling into the many pitfalls that arise. The most common pitfalls are usually issues over domicile, payments to the surrogate or obtaining the consent of or locating the surrogate.
Jeremy Ford is uniquely placed to advise clients through this process having spent 6.5 years at Cafcass Legal where he solely represented children caught adrift in complications over this area of the law. He has also acted as Advocate to the Court on a number of occasions in leading cases as his experience of representing children gives rise to special experience. An Advocate to the Court is appointed when there is a danger of an important and difficult point of law being decided without the court hearing relevant argument.
Re SB – Advocate to the court  – Issues regarding domicile of applicants – “The court is extremely grateful to Cafcass Legal for agreeing to undertake this role and, in particular, to Mr Ford for his excellent written and oral submissions” as per Mrs Justice Theis DBE.
Re P –  Parental Order – domicile – Advocate to the court – “I have been enormously assisted by Mr Ford’s analysis of the law and cases and principles that he refers to.” As per Mrs Justice Pauffley DBE.
Re WT  EWHC 1303 (Fam) – issues surrounding obtaining consent from the foreign surrogate – “The court has had the immeasurable benefit of Mr Jeremy Ford from Cafcass Legal to represent WT, through the children’s guardian” as per Mrs Justice Theis DBE.
D and L (Surrogacy)  EWHC 2631 (Fam) – Advocate to the court on the leading case concerning locating a foreign surrogate – “I am extremely grateful to Mr Ford for his most helpful advice in this matter” as per Mr Justice Baker.